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If all had been as it was meant to be, Riley Scott, nee McGrath, would've been the mother of two hardy Scottish lads to make up the family she and her husband William wanted. But rarely does life go the way one plans, and so instead of the happy family of four, two pregnancies and two miscarriages into their marriage, Riley and William still didn't have the child they wanted.

And so, the couple turned to various fertility treatments, all of them expensive and still frustratingly unsuccessful, until finally, one worked. Soon after, on September 8, 1993, their daughter Moira Alesta Scott was born . She was the answer to everyone's prayers– even, although the Scotts didn't know it– the prayers of those who had helped them have her in the first place.

But all the waiting and disappointment took a toll. William, a recovering alcoholic, relapsed and lost his job. The resulting loss of income combined with the price of the fertility treatments forced the family to move to the less pleasant part of Dalkeith, Scotland. Riley's father, Alistair, disapproved of William and only rarely provided the family with money to help them get by.

Although financially times were rough, William and Riley tried their best to ensure Moira grew up in a happy home– and, for the most part, they succeeded. The redheaded bairn was well-loved by family of both the immediate and extended sort, and anything she needed that her parents couldn't provided were typically given by either her maternal uncles Charles and James or her grandfather. And when things did get bad– when her father had fallen off the wagon again or her mother hadn't been able to earn enough working at the library to help cover rent– when arguments shook the household, Moira found her own way to cope. She left the house to enjoy the beautiful outdoors that still welcomed her when other places or people didn't.

It was on one of these outings when she was six that she met Nicol Macintyre, a dark-haired boy only a few months older than her. They literally ran into each other in an alleyway in the middle of a rainstorm and continued to run into each other in a less literal sense, developing a deep friendship that would keep them connected for years to come.

But the idyllic times of playing in puddles could only last so long, and this more innocent time of Moira's life came to an end with the death of her grandfather Alistair a few months before her fourteenth birthday. While it had been known that he had been relatively well-off, nobody had known how well until his will gave enough to Moira's family for them to be able to get out of Dalkeith permanently– on one condition: That the money also be used to help Moira attend the international school in Aberdeen.

It was an opportunity everybody was excited about– except Moira herself. While she had always dreamed of getting out of Dalkeith, she had fully expected to do so with Nicol at her side, and this was obviously not the way to achieve that. Still, she had no real say in the manner, and so about a month before Moira turned fourteen, the Scotts packed up everything they had and moved to Aberdeen, miles away from her childhood home– and her childhood friends.

The International School of Aberdeen itself was an adjustment. Many of the students attending were of the more elite families– a far cry from the more down-to-earth, simpler people of her youth. While she was fluent enough in English, the language she had spoken for the second longest time in her life, she often found herself without words in the presence of the sort of people she found herself surrounded by, preferring to keep her head down and study, or maintain sporadic contact with Nicol back in Dalkeith– although that unfortunately faded out before her first year away had even finished. The summer after her second year, she went to France on a school trip to further immerse herself in the French language, and it was there she met an intriguing boy her age. For the brief month she was in France, they carried out a whirlwind summer fling that she would lovingly carry the memories of with her for the rest of her life. However, it was around that same time that she began to be dragged into the popular party scene, and that's were things almost went horribly wrong.

She found the glimmer and glam of the social world fascinating, but that same fascination clashed horribly with the rankling insecurity she felt from being so seemingly out-of-place. The more people she met and the more parties she went to, the more she found herself seeking comfort and strength in the same thin her 'father' did– alcohol. Her grades in her courses, all rigorous ones for the International Baccalaureate program, suffered, and by the end of her junior year it almost looked as though she wouldn't graduate at all. William, Riley, and Moira's uncles staged a minor intervention, fearing she was beginning to spiral towards the same dependence William struggled with. After a few more incidents, she realized that the fear was a valid one, and slowly began to clear up her act.

It all paid off when she discovered in her that she had been accepted to Oxford University, a school she'd applied to as a reach but never expected to actually achieve. Triumphant, she began her studies there with plans to turn over a new leaf and leave the beginnings of alcoholism behind her, a goal she only further decided to stick to upon discovering that her dearest friend Nicol– now going by Mac– was also in Oxford.

While she struggled at first with her decision on what to study– her parents had suggested something in the sciences, but her heart lay with the social studies– with help she finally decided to focus on History & French. She still wasn't certain on what she would do with it, although she began to consider teaching, she knew that it was where she was meant to be.

And she was exactly right– but not for the reasons she thought. Around the time Moira had been conceived, the British government had been running an experiment called Project Rewrite, where they used the DNA of famous historical figures to parent children that would hopefully create the world's next greatest leaders. Unknown to Moira and her parents, but not to her uncles and grandfather– all of whom were involved or at least aware of the project– she was one of these; the clone of Mary Stuart, Queen of the Scots. Now, some nineteen years after the first successful fertilizations, these children were all being taken to Oxford, where the researchers and handlers behind the project waited incognito to manipulate them into fulfilling their destinies.

The only problem? They may have forgotten to take into account the fact the Greatest Minds in history don't take kindly to being manipulated. And as the 'daughter' of the former Queen consort of France and Queen regnant of Scots, Moira Alesta Scott is no exception.

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Moira Scott | Mary, Queen of Scots

March 2017

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